So the system is stacked against you?
And you’ve got it all figured: Unfair tax rates allow old white men to steal money that would otherwise make everyone rich. Racism, sexism, indifference to LGBT and immigrant issues and pronouns are they key issues in modern western society; they are a terrible wrong to be righted, and can be fixed by voting the same was as all your friends do.
There might be other issues of concern. Here’s one: The structural stealing of wealth from the future.
Between the end of WWII and the nineties, the USA, as a result of being the last country standing, having a system of free enterprise and private ownership, technological progress and industrial scale experienced a wave of growth unlike anything seen before. Generation after generation correctly assumed a better, longer life than preceding one. Hard work, smart risk taking were often rewarded with success. People were optimistic about the future, and, unlike most of the world, the conditions you were born into were less important to success than hard work.
We could argue about when this ended, but it would be sometime between 1970 and 1990. It ended because the cycle ended – the rest of the world caught up, or better. Communications, travel and global supply chains created the “Flat Earth”, driving the price of labor down, dramatically. The impact of the mainframe and minicomputer tech waves in the 60s and 70s was mostly in allowing already large organizations (and growing sluggish because of it) to grow even larger. And slower. For a few decades. The PC and communication waves were the first time tech had the potential to really revolutionize every person’s ability and every industry. And they did.
But the tech waves were also highly exclusionary. Not in the least in the ways we think they are exclusionary today (i.e. race, gender, orientation, religion, etc) but simply as result that they needed fewer, highly specialized workers. The tech crowd became the new elite. And the working class began a long slow decline that continues to this day. American society is increasingly class-oriented. Not formally, but structurally. It has never been more important to have the right parents in America that it is now.
Governments took steps to keep the good times flowing. Small ones, at first, with Regan’s “tax cuts pay for themselves” spending increases. The truth is the deficit spending is taking wealth from the future, and spending it now.
You don’t hear much about this in the news, or in classrooms. Perhaps it has been fixed, or will be, when just the right people are elected. Judge for yourself:
The reason you hear about pronouns, micro-aggressions, racism, transgender athletes and global warming is precisely because it has not been fixed, and there’s not enough war to distract you. Nobody even tried. It’s best if you just don’t think about.
We are borrowing so much money that no one will lend us any more at the offered interest rates. Indeed, we are buying our own debt with money created out of thin air, and then spending it. Economic theory tells us that this should have caused massive inflation, yet the government tells us it hasn’t. Looked at the price of a house lately? Do you really think a house built in 1980 for a cost of $60,000 is now worth $750,000. Deficits and inflation are the largest tool the older generations have to steal from the younger, and the unborn. Elon Musk? Dogecoin?
Here’s one you might not be aware of, despite being in plain view for decades: The Trust Fund Fraud. Indeed, Medicare and Social Security are indeed massive transfers of wealth from the young to the old. Medicare for All would increase this, for the simple reason the old consume most of the health care dollars.
“Education” is in on it. Universities, long thought to be the way to escape one’s born into class, have become sorting machines to identify the winners and losers in tech/medicine/finance. And if you are not sorted so, you graduate with a worthless degree, a mind full of nonsense, and an unpayable debt. University professors and administrators, like the ever growing governing class, do quite well for themselves. And government spending and loans, intended to make university more affordable, has done the opposite, do to the inflation these actions created in education.
The Diversity Industry plays a role here too. It’s helpful to the governing class, and the tech/medicine/finance/education class that you not figure any of this out. Diversity Inc. produces mountains of seemingly academic nonsense proving that the US is place where white men have structural advantage, and are meanies, which keeps people at each other’s throats while the system is changed to give structural advantage to other demographics. One of these demographics is not Millennials.
Heard of a “share buyback”? That’s where company leaders issue new debt to buyback existing shares, increasing the price of these shares, making themselves and other shareholders rich. They are taking unearned future revenue, which might be used to fund your pension (via the stock market), and spending it now. Lots of that going on.
Finally, underfunded pensions. This might be the biggest one of all. Pensions owned to retired or soon to be retired workers, without any saved money to pay them.
Perhaps you think the rich just need to pick up the slack here, and pay their fair share. It’s completely academic what their fair share is, the math isn’t remotely close to working.
Politicians know you are angry, and have happy to blame people, take more power, and make the situation worse. It’s hard to know if the governing class ever had any integrity; indeed, if it has always been this bad. But it bad now.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century, by Thomas Picketty. You might enjoy it.